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Alaska Business 2018 Spring Construction Round-Up

New, ongoing, and planned projects statewide


Infrastructure improvements and ever-evolving design innovations keep Alaska’s engineers, architects, contractors, and sub-contractors busy year-round. The state’s climate, unique road systems, and resource development industries call for nearly-constant upkeep meaning there are always renovations, upgrades, and new builds happening statewide. The numerous projects (planned, in progress, or recently completed) in Alaska are presented in this Alaska Business Spring Construction Round-Up. The projects, submitted to Alaska Business by contractors, engineers, architects, and designers include infrastructure upgrades, housing developments, municipal improvements, and much more.


Credit: Cornerstone General Contractors

Siding is installed at the West High/Romig Middle School  IMC Wing Renovation. 

Cornerstone General Contractors

West High/Romig Middle School IMC Wing Renovation

The West High/Romig Middle School IMC Wing Renovation project was undertaken in response to a seismic event a few years back that revealed the need for structural upgrades at the shared library of West High School and Romig Middle School. The project consists of selective demolition throughout the structure to allow for the installation of additional foundation and footings, as well as additional steel bracing. The existing counseling center had to be relocated within the administrative area over the summer so school operations would not be disrupted. Temporary libraries were also constructed in both schools. As a result of the construction, the floor plan was altered to add additional Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, and the space was reconfigured to add learning areas. New mechanical and electrical upgrades were added to reduce maintenance and operational costs. The total project footprint encompasses approximately 25,000 square feet. The project adds an additional 2,500 square feet of space, and also included significant abatement of hazardous materials, strengthening of the roof diaphragm, a new membrane roofing system, and a new exterior envelope for improved energy efficiency. The project commenced in May 2017 and is scheduled for completion this spring. Subcontractors and suppliers include: JR Heritage; Alaska Abatement Corporation; Wired AK; Circle Plumbing and Heating; Alaska Sheet Metal; Siemens; Spenard Builders Supply, Alaska Specialized Constructors; Door Systems of Alaska, and many others.



Credit: Roger Hickel Contracting

Rebar is set at the City of Palmer wastewater treatment facility. 

Roger Hickel Contracting

City of Palmer: Waste Water Treatment Facility Improvements

Meanwhile in Palmer, Roger Hickel is working on Waste Water Treatment Facility improvements totaling $9,514,000. The project began in June 2017 and is scheduled for completion in November of this year. Improvements include the addition of a two story 6,000 square foot control building and a new Moving Bed Bioreactor System. Involved parties include the project’s owner, which is the City of Palmer; the architect/engineer HDR; general contractor Roger Hickel Contracting; electrical sub Quality Electric; TEC PRO; and mechanical work by Superior Plumbing & Heating.


Credit: Roger Hickel Contractors

The AWWU Eagle River wastewater treatment facility awaits the installation of additional siding and other finishing work. 

Eagle River Waste Water Treatment Facility Rehabilitation Phase 2

In the same region, Roger Hickel is the general contractor for the Municipality of Anchorage—Anchorage Water and Wastewater Facility (AWWU) Eagle River Waste Water Treatment Facility Rehabilitation Phase 2 in Eagle River. The project cost is $12,096,919 with a start date of June 2017 and scheduled end date of November 2018. Work includes modification and upgrades to the treatment facility. Involved parties include owner–AWWU; architect/engineer: Quincy Engineering; electrical sub: Quality Electric; mechanical: Superior Plumbing & Heating.


Ship Creek Water Treatment Facility Rehabilitation Phase 2

In Anchorage, Roger Hickel Contracting is the general contractor for the Municipality of Anchorage—AWWU Ship Creek Water Treatment Facility Rehabilitation Phase 2. The project cost is $8,970,369 with a start date of July 2017 and completion set for January 2019. The project includes modification and upgrades to the 38,000 square foot Ship Creek Treatment Facility. The project owner is AWWU, the architect/engineer is CDM Smith; electrical sub is Quality Electric; and mechanical work is being done by Norcoast.


Credit: Roger Hickel Contracting

The Ship Creek water treatment facility is being rehabilitated; the project started in 2017 and will be completed in 2019. 

West High School Gym & Auditorium HVAC Upgrades/Chugiak High School HVAC Upgrades Area B

Also in Anchorage, Roger Hickel is the general contractor making upgrades to the West High School Gym & Auditorium HVAC systems. The project cost is $3,548,050 with a start date of May of this year and scheduled completion date of September 2019. The project owner is the Anchorage School District and the architect and engineer are McCool Carlson Green and PDC Engineering.

Chugiak High School in Chugiak is undergoing HVAC renovations to Area B. The project is set to start in May and scheduled for completion in August at a cost of $1,031,531. The project owner is Anchorage School District, the architect and engineer are Bezek Durst Seiser and MBA Consulting Engineers, the general contractor is Roger Hickel Contracting.


Bicycle Plan Implementation: Eagle River and Peterkin Avenue Meyer to N. Bunn

The company is also installing bike lane signing, striping, and upgrades to sidewalks and curbs in Eagle River. The State of Alaska—DOT & PF project, AMATS: Bicycle Plan Implementation starts in June and is set to be complete in July. It runs from Peterkin Avenue Meyer to North Bunn at a cost of $745,846. Project owner is the State of Alaska DOT&PF. The engineer is CRW Engineering Group; the general contractor is Roger Hickel Contracting, and pavement markings and rumble strip sub is Pacific Asphalt.



Credit: RH Development

The units at Sunset Meadows will have 1,450 square feet of space and feature three bedrooms and 2.5 baths, as well as many energy efficient features.

RH Development

Sunset Meadows

RH Development is developing a neighborhood with thirty-three units called Sunset Meadows in Juneau. The project owner is Harris Homes and the houses, when complete in summer 2019, will be available for purchase starting in the mid-$300,000 range.

Sunset Meadows is located within walking distance to Juneau’s Mendenhall Mall Shopping Center, grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and fitness centers. As Juneau’s newest housing development, Sunset Meadows consists of modern homes within the Mendenhall Valley. The current floor plans are 1,450 square feet with three bedrooms, and two-and-a-half baths. Each home features energy construction throughout with Daiken heat pumps, LED lighting, and a 5-Star Plus energy rating.




North Pole Water System Expansion

Stantec is the engineer for the $52 million North Pole Water System Expansion in North Pole. The project commenced in February and is set to be complete in February 2019. The project will construct 181,000 feet—more than thirty-four miles—of insulated water mains to extend the public water supply to more than 650 properties within and surrounding the city of North Pole. The North Pole Water System Expansion project includes enlargement of the existing water treatment plant, a new 750,000-gallon water reservoir, and a new water system pump house. The project contractor is Exclusive Paving.


Aniak Airport Runway Shift

Also on Stantec’s project roster is the $39.9 million Aniak Airport Runway Shift. This Stantec-designed project will shift the entire 6,000-foot-long runway 260 feet laterally to comply with FAA safety requirements. Construction begins this spring, is set to be complete in 2020, and will include a new runway and new runway safety area; new taxiways; apron reconstruction; removal of obstacles and obstructions, including multiple buildings; relocation of 1,900 feet of road; a new maintenance building; design support of FAA NAVAIDS; drainage improvements; utility relocates; security fencing; and contaminated soil remediation. The project owner is DOT&PF and the contractor is Knik Construction.


Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport: Gates B1, B3, and B5 Reconstruction

At Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Stantec is the engineer for the reconstruction of Gates B1, B3, and B5. The 6.9 million Stantec-designed project includes 14,000 square yards of concrete apron and 4,000 square yards of asphalt replacement as well as utility upgrades at each gate. Concourse B serves a variety of air carriers and the gates are heavily utilized during peak season (mid-May through September).Only one gate can be closed at a time, and all gates must be open during peak season. Additionally, only one gate can be constructed each year, and construction must start in March—prior to the normal pavement-construction season—and be completed by early summer. Gate B1 was completed in 2017, and construction starts on Gate B3 this month. The project began in 2017 and set to be wrapped up in 2019. Its owner is DOT&PF and the contractor is Roger Hickel Contracting.


Bethel Airport Improvements

In more airport news, the Stantec aviation design team provided design for Bethel Airport improvements that will replace two aprons and adjacent taxi lanes and taxiways, expand a separate apron, improve perimeter security fencing, access controls to various gates, and install electric outlets at tie-downs at the main Southwest Alaska air hub. Construction field work is scheduled to begin in May.

The $6.9 million project encompasses 764,200 square feet of airfield pavement. The project owner is DOT&PF and the contractor is Knik Construction.


Gambell Airport Pavement Rehabilitation and Lighting Replacement

In Gambell, Stantec is the engineer for the Gambell Airport Pavement Rehabilitation and Lighting Replacement. The Stantec-designed project will renovate the existing runway, taxiway and apron and replace with four inches of hot mix asphalt for the sole transportation access for the remote village of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. The airport lighting systems will be replaced with the new lighting controls that will be moved inside of the existing airport snow removal equipment building. The airport also will receive a new segmented circle and lighted wind cone, rotating beacon, tie downs, and fencing.

The $6,895,530 million project is owned by DOT&PF and is scheduled for start and completion this year. Knik Construction is the project’s contractor.


Credit: Stantec

An interior shot of the K-12 Kwethluk school, completed in January.

Kwethluk K-12 School

In Kwethluk, Bethel Services Inc. completed construction on the new two-story K-12 school in January, with classes beginning in the 48,500-square-foot facility the same month. Stantec provided the architectural and engineering design services on the $32.8 million replacement school, which sits on driven piles that put the first floor nearly eleven feet above ground and provide separation from potential flooding in the community. Once breakup occurs, final site grading and completion of the outdoor play decks will take place. The project owner for the Kwethluk school is Lower Kuskokwim School District and the contractor was Bethel Services. The project commenced in 2015 and was complete in 2018.


Credit: Stantec

Exterior shot of the K-12 school in Nightmute, for which construction is slated for completion in spring 2019.

Nightmute K-12 Renovation/Addition

UIC Construction LLC continues construction on the 30,000-square-foot Nightmute K-12 school, providing building enclosure and roofing installation. The school was designed by the multi-discipline team from Stantec and is expected to be complete in spring 2019. The $30 million renovation to the school in Nightmute is owned by the Lower Kuskokwim School District, the architect/engineer is Stantec, and the contractor is UIC Construction LLC.


Glacier Highway Reconstruction—Fritz Cove Road to Seaview Avenue, Juneau

This Stantec-designed project reconstructs about one mile of Glacier Highway from the Fritz Cove Road intersection to the intersection of Seaview Avenue in Auke Bay. Work on the $13.8 million project is set to be complete in August and will improve sightlines and reduce conflicting turning patters, while also improving the roadway’s shoulders and pedestrian crossings near Auke Bay Elementary School. The project includes roadway subbase improvement, widening, curve realignment, and surfacing. Pedestrian facilities, retaining walls, lighting, drainage, and guardrail are all part of the design. Construction progress in 2017 included curve realignment, subbase replacement, construction of multiple retaining walls, a new waterline, and utility relocations. A second phase, from the Back Loop Road roundabout to Seaview Avenue, will begin this spring. The project owner is Alaska DOT&PF; the contractor is Secon, and the engineer, Stantec.


100th Avenue Extension, Phase IIB—Minnesota Drive to C Street

The second phase of the 100th Avenue connection between Minnesota Drive and C Street, designed and engineered by Stantec, resumes in May. The project, set for completion in August, includes two roundabouts at the Minnesota Drive interchange (constructed last summer) and construction of the roadway between Minnesota Drive and C Street. This minor arterial roadway will have three lanes, five-foot shoulders, separated multiuse pathways on both sides of the road, and continuous LED lighting over its length (about three-quarters of a mile). The $5-$10 million project is owned by the Municipality of Anchorage and the contractor is Mass Excavation



Credit: Turnagain Marine Construction

Aerial photo taken by drone of the City of Unalaska UMC Dock Position III and IV Replacement project with a projected completion date in October. 

Turnagain Marine Construction

City of Unalaska UMC Dock Position III & IV Replacement

Work on the Unalaska UMC Dock Position III and IV Replacement continues in Dutch Harbor. The project includes the installation of twenty-two open cell sheet pile structures, including 72,000 cubic yards of fill; an eleven panel fender system; water, sewer, storm, and fuel systems; 715 feet of added container crane rail; and 105,000 square feet of concrete pavers. To date work has been completed with little to no interruption of day-to-day port operations. Turnagain is currently finishing up Season 1, after meeting all of its February 1, 2018 milestones. Turnagain will begin Season 2 work this month.

The $35 million project was awarded to Turnagain in March 2017, construction began in June 2017, and the anticipated finish date is October of this year.


Gary Paxton Industrial Park Multi‐Purpose Dock

The Gary Paxton Industrial Park Facility (GPIP) was long-awaited by the City and Borough of Sitka. This design‐build project presented unique challenges in order to provide the owner with all necessary design criteria, Turnagain says. Two floating dock options were analyzed with a final decision to provide the city with a 19,000 square foot retrofitted ABS Class barge as the basis of the design.

The barge was dry‐docked and inspected to achieve a fifty‐year design life with minimal maintenance. It was also retrofitted with a new coating system, full anode replacement, and a high capacity wear deck with the ability to handle a 260 kip axel load. Turnagain designed and constructed large pile dolphins caps, reducing the amount of falsework.

Onsite construction of the GPIP Facility included the installation of two 48‐inch diameter, 160 feet in length plumb pile with rock anchors and four 30‐inch diameter, 140 feet in length batter pile. Batter pile were rock anchored into bedrock. Each pile was installed using a vibratory hammer in combination with a D-46 impact hammer. A 19-foot-wide by 82-foot transfer span weighing 110 tons, cast‐in‐place concrete abutment, shore side concrete approach apron, a dry fire line, and an electrical distribution and lighting system were installed to complete the dock facility.

The $6.9 million project was completed in a highly sensitive environment with strict environmental oversight between September and December 2017.


Kathryn Mackenzie is Managing Editor of Alaska Business.


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